10 High-paying Jobs You can Get Even Without a Degree

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10 High-paying Jobs You can Get Even Without a Degree

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Going to college is believed to be the only way to land a job that pays well. This makes it hard for workers who can’t or don’t want to continue their education after high school to find work that ensures financial security for them.

However, it turns out that there are plenty of jobs out there that don’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are 10 occupations that don’t require a college degree but still pay well.

 

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Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual wage: $79,970
Estimated job growth through 2026: 5 percent

This job requires workers to gather evidence and facts for criminal cases. They also interview people of interest, examine records, monitor suspect activities, and take part in raids and arrests. CNBC Make it says investigators and detectives have one specialization in crime and work on a case until an arrest and trial is completed or the case is dropped.

A high school diploma is all that is needed to be a detective, although many federal agencies and some police departments still require at least a college coursework.

 

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Media and communication equipment workers

Median annual wage: $79,970
Estimated job growth through 2026: 5 percent

There is a high demand for these workers in the movie and film industry, being responsible to maintain and repair visual and audio systems in businesses and homes. They are also the ones who teach customers about the proper use of equipment.

Only a high school diploma is needed for this role, but having experience in electrical installation and repair, as well as those with a certification in a related field, have an edge.

 

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Commercial pilots

Median annual wage: $78,740
Estimated job growth through 2026: 4 percent

Aerial application, charter flights, and aerial tours are just some of the unscheduled activities that these pilots usually handle. They also overlook other non-flight schedules like scheduling flights, arranging aircraft maintenance, and luggage loading.

A high school diploma and a commercial pilot’s license are all one needs to become a commercial pilot. Most of these pilots finish their training with independent FAA-certified flight instructors or schools.

 

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Funeral service managers

Median annual wage: $78,040
Estimated job growth through 2026: 7 percent

Although it seems like a morbid job, managing funeral homes is actually a highly rewarding occupation. An associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the only thing needed to take on this job.

However, CNBC Makes It noted that it is important that those who are looking to become funeral directors and morticians must have one to three-year-long internships and pass a state and/or national board exam.
First-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers

 

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First-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers

Median annual wage: $76,330
Estimated job growth through 2026: 7.2  percent

This job requires firefighters to coordinate in fire fighting activities, which includes quickly and safely putting out blazes. Other duties include overseeing rescue operations. While this occupation doesn’t require a college degree, USA Today noted that applicants should have certifications, on-the-job training, and experience in the field.

 

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Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median annual wage: $75,970
Estimated job growth through 2026: -20.9  percent

Similar to other managerial duties, postmasters and mail superintendents also take home a good amount of pay. However, the emergence of digital communication is lowering opportunities for sending out physical letters.

By 2026, this job is projected to have 20.9 percent lower employee number than there were in 2016.

 

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Nuclear medicine technologists

Median annual wage: $75,660
Estimated job growth through 2026: 10  percent

In this job, workers operate the imaging equipment in diagnosing and treating patients as well as preparing radioactive drugs for them to assist with the imaging of therapeutic purposes. Their job description also has them helping physicians in researching the uses of radioactive drugs.

An associate’s degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program is normally needed to land this job, although some only need to have a degree in a related health field and complete a 12-month certificate program.

 

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Gaming managers

Median annual wage: $74,700
Estimated job growth through 2026: 2.5  percent

Gaming managers monitor areas where legal gambling takes place and are sometimes called pit bosses. They ensure that players and employees abide by casino rules and that all payouts are correct.

According to USA Today, gaming managers often work at irregular hours but they do have one of the highest hourly wages of any position with an average of $40.99.

 

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Gas plant operators

Median annual wage: $71,070
Estimated job growth through 2026: 0 percent

These workers ensure that the safe storage and distribution of natural gas in facilities. It does not require a degree or work experience, but operators usually undergo long-term on-the-job training to become proficient in the job. This is due to the difficulty of being familiar with all the equipment used in a gas plant.

 

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Signal and track switch repairers

Median annual wage: $70,490
Estimated job growth through 2026: 1.3 percent

These repairers are the ones who address the issues of malfunctioning track and switch systems. They diagnose the problem and fix them to ensure that train passengers are safe and arrive to their destinations on time. For this job, applicants only need a high school diploma and can even be employed even if they don’t have prior work experience.
 

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